2014: The Pressure is On

Sensors Insights by Mat Dirjish

It stands to reason that one good survey leads to another, which seems to apply to every aspect of information gathering and presentation in this internet-dependent world. When I assumed position as the executive editor of Sensors Magazine last November, I was very lucky in that I was handed the results of a survey indicating what you, the readers of Sensors Magazine were looking for the most in future publications. High up on the list of your New Year's wishes is more market information with insights, predictions if you will, of which sensor and sensor-related products will be shaping future designs as well as what trends and sensor markets will offer the greatest potential for growth.

Making predictions, however, as to what sensor products and which technologies will advance at what point on a timeline is both difficult and risky business. It's difficult perhaps because there are numerous factors to deal with, the two biggest being unexpected market events and user attitude. These days, even a minor dip in the stock market can blow a viable design off the drawing board due to profit paranoia.

An extremely large and vastly diverse market, consumers right now may be a bit overwhelmed with the vast array of tech products they have been led to believe they need. There may be no feedback from end users as to what they actually want in their electronics so designers are being given the task of creating a new "need".

Making predictions is risky business for exactly the same reasons. The market for, say, optical devices may be on a steady rise for a couple years, so researchers say it should continue or, provocatively, claim explosive growth. When things do not pan out and the numbers go south, credibility goes along for the ride. Obviously, no one likes to be caught with egg on their face.

But these factors should not prevent the experts in the trenches, the OEMs, device makers, and designer/engineers, from reporting what they see and their opinions thereof. In fact it's critical they share their insights, even if they differ radically from those of their peers or market logic. And their opinions should be viewed as important tools for making decisions, even if it may be a decision to take an opposing path.

Surveying the Pressure Sensor Makers

Taking into consideration the desire of Sensors Mag readers for sensor technology insights and thoughts on their related markets, we start the new year of 2014 with a focus on pressure sensors. Over the next few weeks I'll be publishing on the website and in the newsletters the results of a survey presented to the top pressure-sensor makers. The poll consisted of six highly focused questions, which most respondents agreed are very relevant regarding the present state of affairs as well as future progressions.

To further expand and enhance our knowledge of pressure sensors, we'll be presenting an excellent tutorial from a major player in the pressure arena on how to choose the right pressure sensor for the application at hand. Oh, by the way, I forgot mention that more instructional and tutorial articles were also high on the list of reader requests.

Additionally, I'll be presenting a roundup of pressure sensors and related products currently available on the market. There will be a link to this product roundup, which will be expanding over the upcoming weeks. I should mention that new-product announcements with photos are most welcome. Feel free to email them directly to me at [email protected].

In Brief

There is one prediction that can be made without any fear or procrastination. That is sensors of all types are and will be critical components in just about every electronic system ranging from floor-standing server arrays, to medical and test equipment, to hand-held smartphones and other miniature portable devices.

Sensors are being used to not only detect activity and environmental changes, perform data-acquisition chores, and provide security, but to also detect and emulate human sensations, reactions, and, most likely in the future, emotions. It's a no brainer to say, sensors are here to stay, and in a big way. ~MD

Mat Dirjish is Executive Editor of Sensors magazine. He can be reached at [email protected].


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